Orland Park, IL (Sept. 15, 2020) – Six people were injured and one pet died after a fire broke out just after midnight on the 32nd floor of the 400 East Randolph residential high-rise building in Chicago. The 40-story condominium building is not protected with fire sprinklers.
In Chicago, all new high-rises built after 1975 have been required to install fire sprinklers. Older residential high-rises were required to be retrofitted with fire sprinklers or use less effective, passive fire prevention measures in order to pass the city’s Life Safety Evaluation (LSE) deadline of January 1, 2015. The 400 East Randolph high-rise chose to comply with the city’s Life Safety Evaluation without installing fire sprinklers, leading to the events in this morning’s fire.
“Many people would be surprised that there are hundreds of residential high-rise buildings in Chicago that are not protected with fire sprinklers, yet these buildings comply with the city’s LSE requirements,” said Erik Hoffer, executive director, Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB). “High-rise buildings are already high-risk in nature, especially for the elderly and people with disabilities. Not having an active fire suppression system adds to the danger.”
“If fire sprinklers were present, this wouldn’t have been a news story. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire would have activated, keeping the fire small or putting it out, and allowing people and their pets to safely escape. The damage would have been minimal,” Hoffer added.
About the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB)
NIFSAB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting progressive legislation, raising public awareness, and educating code officials and governmental policy makers by demonstrating the proven performance of fire sprinklers in saving both lives and property. For more information, visit www.highriselifesafety.com.